One of my favorite quotes is from Gandhi, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” I think a lot of times, we want to see the change first, in someone else, before we change. Needless to say, this doesn’t really work.
Case in point: I know a woman who is mean, condescending and downright rude to service people. Yet she is amazed that she has such a difficult time getting the help she ‘deserves.’ She laments to anyone who will listen how stupid and unprofessional most people are (and those are her words, not mine).
As someone who worked in customer service once upon a time, I always try to be kind and considerate to the person on the other end of the phone or the one who stands behind the cash register. Granted, I’ve had some rude customer service people but not nearly as many as this woman.
If she would just change her energy and her demeanor, she’d be surprised at the result.
It goes beyond customer service though. We want our kids to be honest, but we tell little white lies and half-truths in front of them and then get shocked when they lie. We want our spouse to listen to us but when he or she talks, they can barely get a sentence out.
Be the change you want to see.
If you want respect, give it.
If you want kindness, be kind.
If you want to be heard, listen.
If you crave courtesy, show it.
If for no other reason than to show the other person how they should act towards you. We learn a lot more through demonstration and action than we do through just words.